Saturday, December 16, 2006

How much time do you spend teaching?

The article at this link:

breaks out quite clearly the time-on-task spent by a writing teacher teaching 25 first-year undergraduates.

It's pretty easy for a legal writing professor (teaching only on the graduate level in the U.S.) to follow this article's method and calculate the time-on-task spent teaching during the just now waning semester.  Of course, the average legal writing professor in the U.S. has more in the range of 40 to 50 students each semester (some have a lot more), and lengthier, even more complex tasks to teach and critique.  Most legal writing professors also are required to perform service activities within the academy, the profession, and the community.  And many are required to pursue scholarship and publish, many at the same rate and level as all tenure-line law professors.  If we're tired as the semester draws to a close, it's easy to see why!


December 16, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 15, 2006

quite a vent

Been grading?  Need to vent?

Check out the Top Ten No Sympathy Lines (Plus a Few Extra) at, by a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay professor of natural and applied sciences.  Some of his venting is more applicable to undergrads, but plenty of it is cathartic for law professors to read.

hat tip:  Professor Diane Murley, Southern Illinois University


December 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

more U.S. law schools

The American Bar Association has now granted full accreditation to two Florida law schools:  Barry University School of Law and Florida International University College of Law. It also granted provisional accreditation to the new Charleston School of Law in South Carolina.  More future legal writers!


December 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

congratulations to Ruth Anne Robbins

The law faculty at Rutgers-Camden yesterday voted unanimously to grant Ruth Anne Robbins clinical tenure and to promote her to the rank of full professor.

Professor Robbins is known for her presence in the legal writing community, as well as her innovative and dedicated teaching and her New Jersey domestic violence scholarship and service.

hat tip:  Carol Lynn Wallinger, Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Rutgers School of Law - Camden


December 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

a wordy website

The Word Detective discusses "words and language in a humorous vein on the web since 1995."  The section on "My Favorite Word" is especially fun to browse.  What's your favorite word and why?


December 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

proposals for Rocky Mountain regional conference

UNLV will host the Seventh Annual Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference this spring on March 9 and 10.

The Program Committee invites participants to submit proposals for
conference presentations. Presentations may be on any subject of interest
to those teaching legal research and writing.

Presenters have three options regarding time:

1. We encourage presenters to suggest ideas for 20 minute slots.

These are often practical presentations on teaching methods or assignments that have been especially successful for you.
We have many of these slots available.

2. You may submit proposals for 30 minutes slots. We anticipate having several opportunities to present for 30 minutes.

3. We also anticipate having just a few slots open for presentations lasting 55 minutes.

Those wishing to propose a presentation should send a one-paragraph
description of the presentation, as well as your name, address, phone, fax,
and e-mail information to the Program Committee at both of these
these addresses:

The deadline for proposals is January 12. Also indicate the amount of time you'll need for your presentation, and whether you

are flexible about that time. The cutoff date to get a conference rate at a local hotel will be January 25, and the committee will let
you know if your proposal has been accepted by that time. Please let us know if you have any questions.


December 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

How dumb do they think we are?

Somehow while in the middle of mortgaging two weeks of my life to paper-grading, I found this article oddly reassuring:

hat tip:  Professor Mark Wojcik, John Marshall Law School


December 12, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 11, 2006

job opening in Montana

The University of Montana School of law has announced an opening for a two-year Legal Writing Fellowship, to begin fall of 2007:

"The Legal Writing Fellowship provides an opportunity for a new teacher to develop pedagogical skills and scholarship in a supportive academic environment.

"A primary mission of the University of Montana School of Law is to prepare students for practice.  The law school’s Legal Writing Program is a strong contributor to that mission and has been for decades.  The writing program consists of two required courses (Legal Analysis, Legal Writing), an appellate advocacy elective, and an upper-division writing requirement.

"The Legal Writing Fellow will work with the Director of the Legal Writing Program to teach the two, required, first-year legal writing courses, and assist in the other components of the Law School’s legal writing program, including the appellate advocacy course and advanced writing requirement.  The Legal Writing Fellow will be encouraged to take part in the full range of faculty activities.  The law faculty is committed to providing a supportive environment encouraging development as a teacher and scholar. 

"Selection criteria include:
• JD degree from an ABA accredited law school
• a superior academic background
• relevant experience, including judicial clerkships, law review, moot court
• potential for effective teaching
• potential for scholarship
• the ability to work collegially with students, staff, faculty, and external constituencies of the law school
• creativity, resourcefulness, fairness, compassion, and initiative

"Applicants should submit a cover letter specifically addressing their interest in teaching and how their experience specifically qualifies them to teach in the Legal Writing Program.  Applications should also include:
• an official law school transcript;
• a current resume;
• the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three references.

"Application materials should be sent to:
Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee
The University of Montana School of Law
32 Campus Drive # 6552
Missoula, MT 59812-6552

"The Appointments Committee will begin to review applications on February 15, 2007, and will continue to review applications until the position is filled.  For more information, please contact Professor J. Martin Burke at 406-243-4386 or  The University of Montana is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from qualified women, minorities, Vietnam era veterans, and persons with disabilities.  Position eligible for veterans’ preference in accordance with Montana law.  Finalists for this position will be subject to an appropriate background check."

Which of the following best describes the position you wish to advertise?
___ Position is tenure-track.
___ May lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.
___ May lead only to successive short-term contracts of one to four years.
___ Has an upper-limit on the number of years a teacher may be appointed.
_X__ Is part of a fellowship program for one or two years.
___ Is a part-time appointment, or a year-to-year adjunct appointment.

Will the person hired be permitted to vote in faculty meetings?
___ Yes
_X__  No

The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range: (A base salary does NOT include stipends for coaching moot court teams, teaching other courses, or teaching in summer school; nor does a base salary include conference travel or other professional development funds.)
___  $30,000 to $39,999
__X_  $40,000 to $49,999
___  $50,000 to $59,999
___ $60,000 to $69,999
___ $70,000 to $79,999
___  $80,000 to $89,999
___  $90,000 or more
___  Part-time appointment paying less than $30,000
___ Adjunct appointment paying less than $10,000

The person hired will teach legal writing each semester to a total number of students in the range:
___  less than 30
___ 31 to 35
___ 36 to 40
_X_ 41 to 45
___ 46 to 50
___ 51 to 55
___ 56 to 60
___ more than 60

What is the deadline for submitting resumes?
Review begins on February 15, 2007 and will continue until the position is filled."


December 11, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)